We’re all familiar with the idea that there are many different learning styles out there. For a quick and dirty overview of the three predominant types, LDPride has some decent explanations that aren’t weighed down with excessive scientific detail. You can also take one of the many tests available online to see which one you are — just do a Google search for “learning styles.”
Of course, you can also think critically about how you learn to figure out your learning style. I’m a man of many hobbies. When I write, I find myself thinking in full sentences, reading a lot, and seeking inspiration in the world around me through in-depth conversation. When I play an instrument, I learn best from hearing the piece performed. When I work on my car, it’s not enough to simply look at what must be done — I must be instructed before I feel confident enough to start turning any wrenches. This suggests that I am predominantly an auditory learner, with some degree of kinesthetic learning present.
While it may feel good to figure out what type of education benefits you the most, it is important to note that everyone has elements of all three working in their brain. If you really want to internalize a subject you need to work on combining all three methods into your studies. This is why I would use the notes I gathered throughout the semester in each subject to construct a study guide for myself that I could read over or have someone else quiz me on before each exam.
Now might be the time for a shameless TestSoup plug. TestSoup’s system allows you to harness all three learning styles with their digital flashcard system. First of all, you will see the information presented to you in a way you’re likely to see it on an exam. That covers the visual side. Then you read the information and process it yourself and can even have someone else read it to you if you have the luxury of a study partner. That takes care of the auditory style. Finally, you’re answering questions with full explanations rather than just passively taking in the information. Score one for the kinesthetic learners of the world.
The point is, no matter what learning style suits you best, it is possible to find a way to study that will cater directly to you. This is what will net you a good grade, and more importantly, a lasting understanding of the subject matter. So take some time to figure out what category (or categories) you fall into. Then use that information to make your studying more effective.